Africa Twin, how is it for sport touring? - Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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Africa Twin, how is it for sport touring?

Hi all, first post here, so hello!

As the title suggest, I'm wondering how the AT works as an on-road sport-touring platform. I currently have an FJR and an FJ-09. I find myself riding the FJ-09 more and more for it's light weight and fun on the twisty stuff. Have done some 3-4 day tours on it but use the FJR for longer stuff.

Saw my first AT a few months ago and really liked what I saw, talked with the owner but he had only just got it so feedback was limited. Some of the video reviews seems to say it's a great off-road bike but only fair on-road and that the GS makes a better road bike, except I'm not really a GS fan.

So... has anyone done some long asphalt type tours? How is the motor for vibes at freeway speeds, any comfort issues, and how does it handle when pushed on the twisty bits?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 06:53 PM
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Mines coming next week, but I hired one for a week in Spain, mostly on road riding. My mate took an 800 GS.( I previously owned an 800 and loved it.)
AT was much quicker than the 800 through the twisties and I immediately gelled with it. (pegs scrape easily)
We averaged 250 miles a day and the bike was very comfy, when I had put the seat in the high position.
My last bike was a KTM 1190 ADV and obviously there is no comparison in performance but the Honda isn't slow. I had to keep stopping and waiting for the 800.
Suffice to say I traded in the KTM and ordered an AT. We both agreed it was a much better bike than the 800.

Tri colour Africa Twin / BMW 1050 Siebenrock GS
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dancerdave View Post
Mines coming next week, but I hired one for a week in Spain, mostly on road riding. My mate took an 800 GS.( I previously owned an 800 and loved it.)
AT was much quicker than the 800 through the twisties and I immediately gelled with it. (pegs scrape easily)
We averaged 250 miles a day and the bike was very comfy, when I had put the seat in the high position.
My last bike was a KTM 1190 ADV and obviously there is no comparison in performance but the Honda isn't slow. I had to keep stopping and waiting for the 800.
Suffice to say I traded in the KTM and ordered an AT. We both agreed it was a much better bike than the 800.
Excellent, thanks! Congrats on the new bike, look forward to your further impressions. I am also considering the Triumph 800XRx, had a chance to spend about an hour on one recently and liked it. A little smoother and more refined feeling than the FJ-09 but not quite as quick.

Two of my big concerns with the AT are the tube-type tires and road tire choices for 21" wheels.

Last edited by pcarnut; 01-09-2017 at 07:16 PM.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 03:11 AM
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Brilliant bike BUT the road handling is compromised by the skinny 21" tyre (compared to other bikes, I am not saying you can't do big road mileage on this bike). The tubes don't bother me. I am not knocking the bike, I intend to keep mine for a long time and will do good mileage but there are a host of more suited bikes for big asphalt tours. The bike has a design goal which I think many people agree Honda has nailed. Take a day long test ride if you can.

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 05:34 AM
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Welcome pcarnut, IMHO the AT is a great touring bike, I regularly do a 250 mile day with the odd 300 day, I ve never had a problem with the bike, mines a DCT , I don't do off road and I avoid motorways where possible,
I've had mine for 9 months and travelled 12,500 miles to date, I use Conti TA 2 s, the best imo, I don't use panniers, but have a Jofama tail bag strapped to the rear seat , and a tank bag, I have a set of Motech bar backs, and a set of pivot pegs,
I've recently fitted a set of Alpina wheels so I can do away with the tubes,

I'm a GS fan too, but I prefer the AT, I shall change the AT for another one when its 2 years old,

Go for it, I don't think you'll regret it,
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 07:55 AM
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Just sold my AT and bought a GS...why?

The AT can tour no problem and is very flickable in the twisties. I imagine it is good off road too, but I never tried it on the loose stuff.

Reasons I swapped it for the GS:-

1. The GS is better for pillion passengers
2. I found the AT a little under powered and was thrashing it everywhere. Fine for a weekend thrash but a bit tiring on longer tours.
3. Heated grips crap on the AT, brilliant on the GS
4. Front suspension dive under breaking is alarming, prefer the electronic suspension on the GS.
5. GS has integrated sat nav, adjustable screen, cruise control and electronically adjustable suspension. AT has none of these.

So there you have it, the GS is simply better at longer touring trips, especially two up with luggage, where the AT really struggles.

For general riding though, weekend blasts and short tours, the AT takes some beating for the money! Depends on your needs - and the depth of your pockets!

I really liked the Tri-Colour scheme of the Honda and was able to replicate it on my R1200GS Iconic. Here she is....

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Last edited by RBD914; 01-10-2017 at 08:18 AM.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the welcome!

^ That's a great color scheme on your GS. For me, trusting my ride is a huge priority and BMW reliability has taken some hits in the past few years so I'm reluctant to invest in one with all the electronic whistles and bells. Plus a not pleasant experience with a friends F800ST rear drive and BMWs refusal to help a known issue didn't help.

If I tour two-up I'll take the FJR so the AT would be for riding solo. Good to know about the Alpina rims, that solves one of my issues.

Elvisto, why are you planning to get an other AT in two years?
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 11:59 AM
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By that time (2 years) it will have around 25,000 miles on it and be out of warranty, I'm very lucky that I can afford to change it when I like, I'll keep the Alpina wheels and just swap them over to the new bike when it arrives,

Adventure before Dementia,
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 02:52 PM
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Love the BMW, nicely done.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 04:08 PM
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It's funny because it's the electronics that our friend above likes about the GS are part of the reason that I don't like it that much.
I've had the same with the Multistrada and Triumph's and I felt a bit disconnected to them.
The tiger 800 I felt had a great charismatic engine, but the power delivery of the AT is more fun for sport touring (and wheelieing).

Coming trough a slow hairpin in 1ste gear, scrapping the footpeg and than lifting the front wheel, flicking it in 2nd keeping the front wheel up, just to arrive at the next bend with the same grin as you had when entering the las corner...
I have to say, I can't complain about the 'sport' aspect in 'sport touring' with the AT.

Probably if you'd buy a GS or Tiger it would give you the same grin on your face at some point.
So go out for a test ride and feel if it speaks to you.
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